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Causes of cell injury

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Causes of cell injury

  1. 1. Causes of Cell Injury
  2. 2. Oxygen Deprivation. • Hypoxia is a deficiency of oxygen, which causes cell injury by reducing aerobic oxidative respiration. Hypoxia is an extremely important and common cause of cell injury and cell death.
  3. 3. • Causes of hypoxia include reduced blood flow (celled ischemia), inadequate oxygenation of the blood due to cardiorespiratory failure, and decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, as in anemia or carbon monoxide poisoning (producing a stable carbon monoxyhemoglobin that blocks oxygen carriage) or after severe blood loss.
  4. 4. • Depending on the severity of the hypoxic state, cells may adapt, undergo injury, or die. For example, if an artery is narrowed, the tissue supplied by that vessel may initially shrink in size (atrophy), whereas more severe or sudden hypoxia induces injury and cell death.
  5. 5. Physical Agents • Physical agents capable of causing cell injury include mechanical trauma, extremes of temperature (burns and deep cold), sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, radiation, and electric shock
  6. 6. Chemical Agents and Drugs • The list of chemicals that may produce cell injury defies compilation. Simple chemicals such as glucose or salt in hypertonic concentrations may cause cell injury directly or by deranging electrolyte balance in cells • Even oxygen at high concentrations is toxic
  7. 7. • Trace amounts of poisons, such as arsenic, cyanide, or mercuric salts, may destroy sufficient numbers of cells within minutes or hours to cause death • Other potentially injurious substances are our daily companions: environmental and air pollutants, insecticides, and herbicides; industrial and occupational hazards, such as carbon monoxide and asbestos; recreational drugs such as alcohol; and the ever-increasing variety of therapeutic drugs.
  8. 8. Infectious Agents. • These agents range from the submicroscopic viruses to the large tapeworms. In between are the rickettsiae, bacteria, fungi, and higher forms of parasites. The ways by which these biologic agents cause injury are diverse
  9. 9. Immunologic Reactions • The immune system serves an essential function in defense against infectious pathogens, but immune reactions may also cause cell injury. Injurious reactions to endogenous self-antigens are responsible for several autoimmune diseases
  10. 10. • Immune reactions to many external agents, such as microbes and environmental substances, are also important causes of cell and tissue injury
  11. 11. Genetic Derangements • genetic abnormalities may result in a defect as severe as the congenital malformations associated with Down syndrome, caused by a chromosomal anomaly, or as subtle as the decreased life span of red blood cells caused by a single amino acid substitution in hemoglobin in sickle cell anemia.
  12. 12. • Genetic defects may cause cell injury because of deficiency of functional proteins, such as enzyme defects in inborn errors of metabolism, or accumulation of damaged DNA or misfolded proteins, both of which trigger cell death when they are beyond repair
  13. 13. • Variations in the genetic makeup can also influence the susceptibility of cells to injury by chemicals and other environmental insults.
  14. 14. Nutritional Imbalances • Nutritional imbalances continue to be major causes of cell injury. Protein-calorie deficiencies cause an appalling number of deaths, chiefly among underprivileged populations. Deficiencies of specific vitamins are found throughout the world
  15. 15. • Nutritional problems can be self-imposed, as in anorexia nervosa (self-induced starvation). • Ironically, nutritional excesses have also become important causes of cell injury. Excess of cholesterol predisposes to atherosclerosis; obesity is associated with increased incidence of several important diseases, such as diabetes and cancer.
  16. 16. REVERSIBLE INJURY • Two features of reversible cell injury can be recognized under the light microscope: cellular swelling and fatty change. Cellular swelling appears whenever cells are incapable of maintaining ionic and fluid homeostasis and is the result of failure of energy-dependent ion pumps in the plasma membrane.
  17. 17. • Fatty change occurs in hypoxic injury and various forms of toxic or metabolic injury. It is manifested by the appearance of lipid vacuoles in the cytoplasm. It is seen mainly in cells involved in and dependent on fat metabolism, such as hepatocytes and myocardial cells.
  18. 18. Morphology • Cellular swelling is the first manifestation of almost all forms of injury to cells.It is a difficult morphologic change to appreciate with the light microscope; it may be more apparent at the level of the whole organ.
  19. 19. • When it affects many cells, it causes some pallor, increased turgor, and increase in weight of the organ • On microscopic examination, small clear vacuoles may be seen within the cytoplasm; these represent distended and pinched-off segments of the ER. This pattern of nonlethal injury is sometimes called hydropic change or vacuolar degeneration.
  20. 20. • Swelling of cells is reversible. Cells may also show increased eosinophilic staining, which becomes much more pronounced with progression to necrosis
  21. 21. The ultrastructural changes of reversible cell injury include • 1. Plasma membrane alterations, such as blebbing, blunting, and loss of microvilli • 2. Mitochondrial changes, including swelling and the appearance of small amorphous densities • 3. Dilation of the ER, with detachment of polysomes; intracytoplasmic myelin figures may be present (see later) • 4. Nuclear alterations, with disaggregation of granular and fibrillar elements.
  22. 22. Morphologic changes in reversible cell injury and necrosis. A, Normal kidney tubules with viable epithelial cells. B, Early (reversible) ischemic injury showing surface blebs, increased eosinophilia of cytoplasm, and swelling of occasional cells. C, Necrosis (irreversible injury) of epithelial cells, with loss of nuclei, fragmentation of cells, and leakage of contents.
  23. 23. NECROSIS • The morphologic appearance of necrosis is the result of denaturation of intracellular proteins and enzymatic digestion of the lethally injured cell • Necrotic cells are unable to maintain membrane integrity and their contents often leak out, a process that may elicit inflammation in the surrounding tissue. The enzymes that digest the necrotic cell are derived from the lysosomes of the dying cells themselves and from the lysosomes of leukocytes that are called in as part of the inflammatory reaction.
  24. 24. • Digestion of cellular contents and the host response may take hours to develop, and so there would be no detectable changes in cells
  25. 25. Morphology • Necrotic cells show increased eosinophilia in hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) stains, attributable in part to the loss of cytoplasmic RNA (which binds the blue dye, hematoxylin) and in part to denatured cytoplasmic proteins (which bind the red dye, eosin).
  26. 26. • The necrotic cell may have a more glassy homogeneous appearance than do normal cells, mainly as a result of the loss of glycogen particles • When enzymes have digested the cytoplasmic organelles, the cytoplasm becomes vacuolated and appears moth-eaten. Dead cells may be replaced by large, whorled phospholipid masses called myelin figures that are derived from damaged cell membranes
  27. 27. • These phospholipid precipitates are then either phagocytosed by other cells or further degraded into fatty acids; calcification of such fatty acid residues results in the generation of calcium soaps. Thus, the dead cells may ultimately become calcified.
  28. 28. • By electron microscopy, necrotic cells are characterized by discontinuities in plasma and organelle membranes, marked dilation of mitochondria with the appearance of large amorphous densities, intracytoplasmic myelin figures, amorphous debris, and aggregates of fluffy material probably representing denatured protein
  29. 29. Patterns of Tissue Necrosis • When large numbers of cells die the tissue or organ is said to be necrotic; thus, a myocardial infarct is necrosis of a portion of the heart caused by death of many myocardial cells. • Necrosis of tissues has several morphologically distinct patterns, which are important to recognize because they may provide clues about the underlying cause.
  30. 30. Coagulative necrosis • is a form of necrosis in which the architecture of dead tissues is preserved for a span of at least some days. The affected tissues exhibit a firm texture. • A localized area of coagulative necrosis is called an infarct
  31. 31. Coagulative necrosis. A, A wedge-shaped kidney infarct (yellow). B, Microscopic view of the edge of the infarct, with normal kidney (N) and necrotic cells in the infarct (I) showing preserved cellular outlines with loss of nuclei and an inflammatory infiltrate (which is difficult to discern at this magnification).
  32. 32. Liquefactive necrosis • in contrast to coagulative necrosis, is characterized by digestion of the dead cells, resulting in transformation of the tissue into a liquid viscous mass. It is seen in focal bacterial or, occasionally, fungal infections, because microbes stimulate the accumulation of leukocytes and the liberation of enzymes from these cells. The necrotic material is frequently creamy yellow because of the presence of dead leukocytes and is called pus.
  33. 33. Liquefactive necrosis. An infarct in the brain, showing dissolution of the tissue.
  34. 34. Gangrenous necrosis • is not a specific pattern of cell death, but the term is commonly used in clinical practice. It is usually applied to a limb, generally the lower leg, that has lost its blood supply and has undergone necrosis (typically coagulative necrosis) involving multiple tissue planes.
  35. 35. Caseous necrosis • is encountered most often in foci of tuberculous infection. The term “caseous” (cheeselike) is derived from the friable white appearance of the area of necrosis . On microscopic examination, the necrotic area appears as a collection of fragmented or lysed cells and amorphous granular debris enclosed within a distinctive inflammatory border; this appearance is characteristic of a focus of inflammation known as a granuloma
  36. 36. Fat necrosis • is a term that is well fixed in medical parlance but does not in reality denote a specific pattern of necrosis. Rather, it refers to focal areas of fat destruction, typically resulting from release of activated pancreatic lipases into the substance of the pancreas and the peritoneal cavity.
  37. 37. Fibrinoid necrosis • is a special form of necrosis usually seen in immune reactions involving blood vessels. This pattern of necrosis typically occurs when complexes of antigens and antibodies are deposited in the walls of arteries.